KITCHENER -- The president of St. Mary's General Hospital spoke from experience Friday as she encouraged people to consider the hard work of their neighbours amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I can tell you firsthand there's nothing that feels actually more hurtful to a health-care worker as when they've come back to work after a weekend and somebody two doors down has held a big party when they have spent the weekend at the hospital caring for people with COVID," Lee Fairclough said during a media briefing that morning.

"I know myself, I really felt this in the first wave when we were still managing things in long-term care and we started to see this kind of behaviour and it's extended."

Her words came as public health officials around the country pleaded with the public to limit their non-essential social interactions. The latest COVID-19 modelling was shared Friday and showed that Canada could see as many as 60,000 cases per day by the end of next month if people increase their social interactions in the coming months.

"We can't do it alone; we need the community's help because the drivers behind the spread are mostly in the hands of our community members," said Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang during Friday's media briefing.

She said it was important that people start at the root and minimize those non-essential social interactions so we don't continue to fuel the spread of the disease in our communities.

Officials said the circulation of COVID-19 has never been higher in the region, and it's leading to stress on the health-care system.

"Hospitals have seen a rapid increase in hospitalizations this last week," Fairclough said. "Last weekend from Friday morning to Sunday morning cases rose from three COVID-positive admissions to 20."

St. Mary's has adjusted operations and reorganized hospital spaces to increase bed capacity.

"We may need to reduce services, including scheduled procedures, especially if we find ourselves with heavy occupancy and increased admissions," Fairclough said.

On Friday morning, Region of Waterloo officials warned that the region could be headed towards the red zone on Monday or sooner. Provincial officials announced Friday that we would be placed in the red zone beginning on Monday, Nov. 23 at 12:01 a.m.

That comes with a number of other restrictions for local businesses.